Friday, October 31, 2008

dressing up for candy and fun

i'm really not a fan of "halloween" per se, but i like seeing the kids dressed up and i like candy.

here are the big kids at our community's Halloween Hoot event. its free, fun, but no candy provided.

here is diedre in a bouncy castle

here is ezekiel in the bouncy castle. this is the first time he actually bounced around in such a castle, since he only learned how to hop on two feet properly in the last month. so cute!

the lady who sold us diedre's outfit (from discovery toys) offered to take some family pictures.

ezekiel's and audrey's (little ladybug--but i forgot the antennae headband for her) costumes and diedre's wings were from Value Village.

Trick or Treating with the Hetzler Boys

very excited to head out trick or treating (in spite of the rain)

she ran excitedly to me after each house to show the candy

ezekiel got running full-tilt a few times but tripped once and after that we tried to get him to slow down a bit.

the kids waiting with anticipation at someone's doorstep

more pictures of that day here

one month comparisons

here are some one month comparisons of our three babes:

diedre at one month (march 26 2005)

diedre at one month and 7 days (since audrey was 9 days late, its my version of corrected age) (april 6 2005)

ezekiel at one month old (december 25 2006)

audrey at one month old (october 29 2008)

audrey is obviously the strongest and most bright-eyed of the three (although they all had very large eyes and seemed to look around and take things in). i guess each one gets stronger (diedre was 2 days late, ezekiel was 10 days late and audrey was 9 days late, so i think that makes a difference). in most of the pics of diedre at one month she had a floppy head. i know we were all impressed with how strong ezekiel was right from birth with head-control and that he rolled over at 2 weeks old! and audrey is even stronger with head-control then him, but not rolling over yet.

audrey got weighed and measured on friday, october 31.
10 lbs exactly
21 & 3/4 inches long
36.5 cm head size

diedre is 3 years & 8 months old
36 lbs
3 feet 4 inches tall

ezekiel is 1 year & 11 months old
27 lbs
2 feet 8 inches tall

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

audrey's 4th week up to 1 month old

enjoying the fall leaves together at the park with some kids we dont know

ezekiel loving the outdoors!

sweet baby audrey

brotherly love

diedre took this picture. ezekiel is playing with my hair for comfort/cuddle

audrey smiling at the swing's mobile

my mom trying to teach the kids how to feed ducks at this halloween event on saturday

ezekiel liked chasing the ducks

we went on a daytrip to nanoose to visit my aunt susan on monday

daddy's girls

ezekiel learned to pedal his bike today! (oct 29)

audrey is one month old!

so strong!

sisters :D

so the last month has gone amazingly well. i made sure to take my mom up on all her offers to come help out and to take the kids to the park etc. it really helped with my mother-guilt to get the big kids out to play and run.

i have been very relaxed with audrey and kept my schedule very low-key. we have been able to get out and about quite a bit but always working around naps and feedings and such.

audrey has gotten into the pattern now of going to bed for the night around 9pm and then waking for a feed around 1 or 2am then sleeping until 5.30 or 6am for another feed (which is when the big kids get up anyway) and then she sleeps for a few more hours. those early morning hours are when i eat breakfast, shower, visit the kids, clean/tidy and get ready for the day. one day she didnt do that sleep in and it totally threw a few days off (messier house that lasted for days). i dont exactly have a plan for what to do when she changes that up, but we'll just wait and see.

i'm really feeling blessed with the ladies bible study i'm a part of. its exactly what i need right now! i'm feeling pretty much recovered physically (except for when the kids elbow me in the stomach) and i have lots of energy.

i'm trying to stay positive but realistic that things will most likely change/get harder but its been a great month and for that i'm thankful!

derek has been fantastic taking care of the big kids while i take care of audrey. he has also taken on watching all three kids several times so i can go run an errand or shop. how wonderful! thank you honey! it feels weird to be able to go out without my baby since i did not previously attempt leaving a baby with him until they were much older. i'm very proud and thankful for his contribution to the family both thru work and parenting :D

here are many many more pics from audrey's 4th week up to 1 month old!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

audrey's 3rd week

oct 14: 15 days old

i gave audrey her second bath at home with diedre watching on adoringly

my plan was to do audrey's photoshoot for her baby announcement, but the pictures/lighting were not turning out great.

diedre looked great though!

oct 17: 18 days old

a bit of smile on the ol' changepad

tummy time, what a strong girl!

oct 18: 19 days old

my dad came for a visit from vancouver island

oct 19: 20 days old

sadly, diedre got the flu. she was so tired. her favorite kitty, hattie, was cuddling at her feet.

baby audrey looking so serene (i think i took this at church with my iphone ;P).

later on sunday, we went to visit grandma and pepere gagne. pepere enjoyed some baby cuddles.

such a beautiful girl!!!

oct 20: 3 weeks old!

a little time in the swing

and a cuddle with her mama!

more pics from audrey's 3rd week

audrey is doing so well (other than catching a cold last week that has gotten worse and worse. its starting to affect her night sleeping because she can't breathe that well. i have the cool mist humidifier going and that seems to help). she is pretty consistent at going to bed around 10pm or 11pm and sleeping for 4 to 5 hours. its AWESOME! she only wakes once per night (as far as my night goes: i'm up with the big kids after her second waking at 6.30/7am). she is very easily pacified/settled. she still loves to nurse alot, but i really try to nurse her on the same side twice in a row (20 minutes, take a short break, then that side again--if she's asking for it) so that she gets hindmilk and i think that is what's making things work so well.

life with 3 is going great. i still have my "i need coffee NOW" moments when i'm starting to lose my temper with the bigger kids, but i just try to keep my schedule low-key and stay chill. thats my plan, keep it cool, dont freak out. haha. so far, its working.

other points of my strategy of coping with 3 are:
-to stay positive
-to enlist help (sadly the ENTIRE family is sick other than me (so derek was pretty out of commission over the weekend), so i've been hiring our babysitter to come over on days when derek is not going to be right home in the evening (which is great, around 3.30pm for a couple hours), or on saturday when he worked. also, my mom has made herself very available to me and the kids, either popping by when she's in the area or planning visits, taking one or both kids out to play, she even took ezekiel for a sleepover on the day diedre had the flu so that we could try to keep him from getting sick. so BIG thanks to her for all that!)
-cuddle the big kids when audrey is sleeping on me (one on each side, its very sweet) while we watch a show.
-get housework done when audrey is still sleeping in the morning (usually until 9am).
-visit, cuddle the bigger kids during audrey's midday naptime (which often extends until 2.30 or even 3.30pm most days).
-let diedre watch her movies if that makes her happy (and sit down with her/cuddle as much as i can, maybe while also doing laundry).
-try not to slack on discipline with the big kids and i'll be working on cutting down on my yelling...i get pretty exasperated by their lack of listening (read: blank stares, total inaction to my requests) and find that its ask once, twice, yell then there's action. not a trait i want to see in them or in me. not a healthy home habit. so pray for me on that one!!

okay, off to the park now!

Monday, October 13, 2008

two weeks old today!!! oct 13 2008

here are some highlights from audrey's second week with us:

diedre cuddling with her special kitty hattie

oct 7 (8 days old) we went to a baby well appointment. audrey was 8lbs 2oz. the doctor was very pleased with her weight gain. he said another week and my body should be very healed "like nothing ever happened" ha ha, he's such an optimist :D

diedre looking lovingly at baby audrey

the big kids give their presents to audrey. they picked these out awhile ago, but we hadnt taken the time for them to give them to her. rattles, teething toys.

oct 8, 9 days old. first time in the co-sleeper. it didnt last long, but this is my sleeping arrangement for me and baby audrey.

Thanksgiving at the Gagne grandparents' on Oct 11

the big table and feast

auntie heather has a cuddle with baby audrey

the walk in the dark after dinner

me and my sleepy babe

sunday morning, oct 12, 13 days old. i was very energetic, gave both the big kids baths and got all three kids and myself ready for church (while derek was at work) and i was only 13 minutes late! i figure, diedre expects to go to sunday school and i want her to go, plus ezekiel gets some one on one time with some great ladies in the nursery and a familiar place to play. i'm so glad i went as it was a communion service (which only happen 4 times a year--so different from my church growing up where it was weekly! i totally miss that) and also a bit of a "thanksgiving" report by various people in the church. it was a blessing to be there. and my mom met us there and took us out to lunch, played with diedre while me and the younger two napped.

audrey making some cute faces for daddy last night

baby audrey is 2 weeks old today! oct 13 2008.
this was her first time in the swing. i assembled it last friday (my first day alone), during some down time. i havent had the heart to put her in it, although the kids have been asking for her to try it, because i would rather hold her :D

silly smiley ezekiel! he is such a big boy! i need to measure his height :P

so as for me, i am feeling alot better physically, 2 weeks into this. i have had a few days where i was really doubting my personal ability to be strong in caring for 3 kids while being tired. i definitely need coffee to get myself in a positive frame of mind in the morning and i hope to take time to pray and trust God for strength each day, as i honestly dont think i can do it without Him. this week coming i begin MOPS again and then next week i'm back at the bible study i attending, so i'm sure that support will help.

audrey's second week sleep pattern started out as what i would have expected from a newborn with feedings ever 2 hours (for 2 nights). then she went back to going to sleep sometimes as early as 7.30pm and waking for a feed by 11/11.30pm then sleeping right until 4am!!! wow! she has done this more than not in her 14 nights so far. if she continues this pattern, i will be a well-rested mama. i'm not totally counting on it, but it sure would be nice.

she had 2 very fussy nights on thursday and friday last week, but i think its because i ate alot of grapes one night, and also from not enough hindmilk. so on saturday and sunday i made sure to nurse on one side, let her have a break and a burp, then nurse her again on that side to get the hindmilk. she has been sleeping better and having a pretty minimal fussy time since (as in still the regular dinner time session, that is pretty short so far).

sadly, she does have a bit of a cold/sniffle/congestion right now. she slept tonnes yesterday but still had a really good night. right now she is into her third hour of a nap, but i guess for newborns, thats not very long.

i hope to do her photo shoot for her baby announcement today. i was feeling guilty, thinking i had done the other two kids' shoots earlier, but it was 12 days for diedre and 15 for ezekiel, so i'm pretty much right on track.

many more pics of audrey's second week with us